Saturday, September 24, 2016

Non HoF Autographs: David Cone



I recently decided to try and get signatures for every card in this set of McDonald's/Donruss baseball cards from the early 90s. It depicts great moments from the Blue Jays history leading up to their 1992 World Series Championship.

This card depicts Tom Henke and David Cone during the victory parade after the championship. There are other Henke cards in the set, so I decided to go after David Cone to sign this particular card. He graciously did sign at my request, though he also included a letter saying he now charges $50 per autograph! - a first for me to see a prices list in a successful return from a TTM autograph request!

Non HoF Autographs: Joe Carter



I recently decided to try and get signatures for every card in this set of McDonald's/Donruss baseball cards from the early 90s. It depicts great moments from the Blue Jays history leading up to their 1992 World Series Championship.

These two cards depict the on-field World Series celebration, as well as a single player in Joe Carter. Carter is the one player most prominently featured, making him a good candidate to sign this particular card. He graciously did sign at my request with a $5 fee he typically charges. I also sent along a third card and doubles of all three, encouraging him to keep the extras. Unfortunately he only signed two, and returned all six. 

So, I still need one Joe Carter card signed from the set. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Non HoF Autographs: Galen Cisco



I recently decided to try and get signatures for every card in this set of McDonald's/Donruss baseball cards from the early 90s. It depicts great moments from the Blue Jays history leading up to their 1992 World Series Championship.

This card depicts many from the '92 team tipping their caps in appreciation of the record setting attendance that year. Galen Cisco is the one player (actually he was the pitching coach) with his back to the photographer, making him a good candidate to sign this particular card. He graciously did sign at my request, though he signed using a whiteout pen - a first for me to see from a TTM autograph request!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Non HoF Autographs: Pat Borders



I recently decided to try and get signatures for every card in this set of McDonald's/Donruss baseball cards from the early 90s. It depicts great moments from the Blue Jays history leading up to their 1992 World Series Championship.

I noticed former catcher Pat Borders is still managing for the Williamsport Crosscutters, who were in town to play the local State College Spikes minor league team. I stopped by and was able to get him to sign these three cards from the set!

Non HoF Autographs: Jimmy Key and Bobby Brown



I recently decided to try and get signatures for every card in this set of McDonald's/Donruss baseball cards from the early 90s. It depicts great moments from the Blue Jays history leading up to their 1992 World Series Championship.

My first two returns came on the same day - pitcher Jimmy Key and former AL President, Bobby Brown (who unfortunately signed on the back of the card).

This should be fun!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Carl Hubbell (1903-1988)




I recently picked up this Carl Hubbell autograph on eBay. Nicknamed "The Meal Ticket" and "King Carl", he was an amazing pitcher for the New York Giants (twice voted NL MVP!) and apparently remained on the team's payroll for the rest of his life! 

Hubbell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947, making him the earliest inductee in my collection. He passed away in the late 80s, so this is also perhaps the player in my collection who has been passed away for the longest time. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

An Update

I used to do these updates from time to time but I haven't done it in a few years. I thought it would be fun to run through where my collection stands just for my own enjoyment. 

Currently there are 69 living Hall of Famers

My collection includes autographs from 42 Hall of Famers including 13 who have passed on.

I've also experienced 27 unsuccessful returns (including 10 "return to sender") (note: this includes a copied Hank Aaron)

Numerous requests still waiting for a return (I've lost track)

I keep track of my autograph collection in a Google spreadsheet where I note who is still living, information on what they charge, notes about any recent attempts, and whether they charge to sign through the mail. Of late I've been dreaming about taking a trip to Cooperstown someday for induction weekend. I think it would be really cool to be present there, and to try and obtain a few autographs in person. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Red Schoendienst



If you've been following this blog from the beginning you may remember that I once attempted to get Mr. Schoendienst to sign through the mail, but my envelope was returned with a suspicious looking Return to Sender on the outside. I noticed that Schoendienst has still been signing through the mail - but he'll often return your letter if you have a return address listed. It also helps (apparently) to include a small donation and to write "Donation Enclosed" on your envelope.

Well, I tried those steps a few weeks ago, and got a successful return in the mail! I'm kicking myself for not trying those things sooner. It has been over two years since my last successful autograph through the mail - way back in February of 2014 I got a return from La Russa, another Cardinals manager.

Red Schoendienst was an incredible infielder and then manager for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is 93 and the second oldest living Hall of Famer. I'm really happy to get this signature for my collection. He chose to return my small donation and my personal letter to him, and he chose to sign in blue pen on the lined side of the index card rather than the blank side (but that's just fine in my opinion). 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dave Winfield



I picked up this autograph a few weeks ago from Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, one of the few Toronto Blue Jays enshrined in the Hall (I now have three of six Jays - Winfield gets added to my Alomar and Gillick signatures already in my collection).

Winfield was an incredible player for many seasons, but I'll remember him as a member of the 1992 World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays.

I picked this blue pen-autographed '83 Donruss oversized card from a local shop. It isn't authenticated, but it was a good price and the signature is clear and looks like it could be legit based on others I've seen online. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mike Schmidt



I recently made a big trade and ended up adding an Mike Schmidt signature to my collection. Schmidt was an incredible All-Star third baseman and MVP for many years with the Philadelphia Phillies.

This autograph is in blue sharpie on a baseball card. I'm excited to add this one to my collection of Hall of Famers!

Al Kaline



I recently made a big trade and ended up adding an Al Kaline signature to my collection. Kaline, known as "Mr. Tiger", was an incredible All-Star for many years with the Detroit Tigers, and after retiring from the field was a broadcaster for the team for many years.

This autograph is in blue sharpie on an Upper Deck card. I'm excited to add this one to my collection of Hall of Famers!

Andre Dawson



I recently made a big trade and ended up adding an Andre Dawson signature to my collection. Dawson was an incredible All-Star outfielder for many years, and played for the Cubs and Canada's defunct Montreal Expos (bring back the Expos!).

This autograph is in blue sharpie on an old Topps rookie card. I'm excited to add this one to my collection of Hall of Famers!

Autograph Swap



Over at Sports Card Forum, I offered some of my extra items for trade. I ended up connecting with a great trade partner who helped me out with a few HOFers that I didn't have in my collection.

I'll go over my new items in their own blog post, but this trader was nice enough to include a unique item to say "Thank You" for trading - a tag and button from the now-defunct Mickey Mantle Western Blue Jeans. Pretty cool!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bob Lemon (1920-2000)



Like the recent Enos Slaughter addition, this was an eBay find - a low price, but no guarantee that the penned autographed 3x5 is legit. For now, I will count it as the next success in my collection. 

Bob Lemon was certainly a star in his time. He was a lifetime member of the Cleveland Indians except for a brief hiatus while he served in the military during World War II (as many of his peers did at that time). He was an excellent pitcher who was also known as having a solid bat. 

Lemon passed away in 2000, so this one adds to my collection of those who have passed on. 

Enos Slaughter (1916-2002)



This was another eBay find - only a few dollars, but no guarantee that the penned autographed 3x5 is legit. For now, I will count it as the next success in my collection. 

Enos "Country" Slaughter was a star in his time. A ten time all star and participant in five World Series, Slaughter also served in the military during World War II as many of his peers did at that time. 

Slaughter passed away in 2002, so this one adds to my collection of those who have passed on. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Failure #27: Paul Molitor



The great Hall of Famer Paul Molitor is the current manager of the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately Mr. Molitor gets too many requests to respond with an autograph request. My letter was returned with a lovely generic note of thanks, as well as a small card with a headshot of Molitor (and my 3x5 note card and return envelope was also returned).

Molitor was on the 1993 Blue Jays roster - the last time my favorite team won the World Series! I'd love to get this autograph some day!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Failure #26: Craig Biggio



One of the more recent members of the Hall of Fame, catcher/infielder/outfielder Criag Biggio, apparently does not accept forwarded mail. I sent this request to the Hall, which was then forwarded to the Astros organization, who labeled it RTS which sent it back to me several days later. 

After the most recent inductions I sent out another wave of TTM requests. Only time will tell if any are successful!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Two More Enshrined

Baseball Writers have voted outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and catcher Mike Piazza in to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Griffey will be the first to go in as a Seattle Mariner, and Piazza, only the second to be enshrined as a New York Met.

Ken Griffey Jr. is definitely a player I grew up cheering for. Piazza... well, maybe not. Reading his biography did nothing to help his cause. Of course I don't have an autograph for Griffey, but I do for Piazza. This election gets me another one for my collection in Piazza, but also adds a tricky one to track down in Griffey.

Congrats to both of them. 

Failure #25: Pedro Martinez



One of the newest members of the Hall of Fame, pitcher Pedro Martinez, apparently does not accept forwarded mail. I sent this request to the Hall, only to get it back in the mail several days later. The upside is that I also sent out 7 other requests to the Hall, and none of them have come back to me as unsuccessful attempts (so far).

Rest in Peace, Monte Irvin

Baseball's Hall of Fame has lost another living legend with the recent passing of Monte Irvin. Irvin was a pioneer in professional baseball as one of the first African American players and executives. At the time of his death he was the second-oldest living member of the Hall.

I obtained Irvin's autograph through the mail in 2010, and he was nice enough to sign a blank 3x5 card for me.